How to Attract Wildlife with California Natives

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 PM – 3 PM

How do you attract wildlife to your garden with California natives? You’ll need to come Sunday, September 11 to hear Penny Wilson Nyunt tell you how. Penny literally grew up in her parents’ California native plant nursery, Las Pilitas. She graduated from Cuesta and CalPoly in Biological Sciences and has written for various gardening publications and websites. Although she grows and sells plants, she vehemently claims to not be a gardener. Instead of changing your environment to suit your plants, she believes it is easier and more environmentally friendly to choose plants that grow in your environment. There are plenty of choices since California has around 6000 native plant species. This fundamental idea gives her the basis for creating beautiful, easy landscapes with high wildlife value.

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.

Indulge Your Senses in the Native Garden

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sept. 10, 1 PM – 3 PM

SLO Botanical is very excited to have Carol Bornstein, acclaimed author and horticultural expert from Santa Barbara, come and give her expert advice on native plants of California. Carol is a horticulturist, instructor, and garden designer. For 30 years, she has been an advocate for sustainable, regionally appropriate landscaping. While Director of Horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, she managed the living collections, retail nursery, and plant introduction program and selected several new cultivars. She continues to seek out exceptional plants for California gardens and to share her knowledge of plants native to California and other Mediterranean regions through her writing, teaching, and design work. Her book, Reimagining The California Lawn, is the Item of the Month for September at our Eve’s Garden Shop; be sure to check it out!

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.

 

October Chapter Meeting

October Chapter Meeting

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7pm

At this first chapter meeting after the break, we welcome everyone back from summer and share photos of travels and plants. Please come prepared to share your sumemr adventures! Once more we are meeting at the Veterans Hall, GrandAvenue at Monterey, City of SLO, for a social and sharing of desserts.

I am going to ask a special favor of participating photographers. I will move all slide packages to the computer that is tied to the projector, so have pictures as jpeg format in a folder under your name. Label slides in alphabetical order to ensure sequencing order. I will also be able to load PowerPoint. We had so many last year that the program went on a little too long, so I would like to limit the individual folders, with the best slides in the first ten in case we cut you off, but with the extra five to ten if offerings are unexpectedly slim. Also I will “guesstimate the time per offering” on the day, but I hope that your verbal dialogs will be fairly short.

I would like to have presenters arrive close to 7:00 for offloading from disk or thumb drive.

I will open the program at 7:30 with a very short business session before the show begins.

–David Chipping

Lafayette Symposium

Growing Natives: Inspiring & Enduring Gardens

A two-day symposium on native plant gardening & design

The Santa Clara Valley chapter of CNPS is offering a two-day symposium on designing,installing, and maintaining native plant gardens of lasting value, aimed at professionals, home gardeners, and native plant enthusiasts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011: talks by leading practitioners Carol Bornstein, Michael Craib, David Fross, Luke Hass, and Deva Luna, and books for sale at Lafayette Community Center, 500 St Mary’s Road, Lafayette.

  • Garden design by author Carol Bornstein, formerly of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Site preparation by landscape professional Deva Luna
  • Sourcing native plants by Michael Craib of Suncrest Nurseries
  • Case study of a 40-year-old native plant garden by landscape professional Luke Hass
  • Maintenance tips by nurseryman and author David Fross
  • A panel discussion and Q&A
  • The Saturday program includes a continental breakfast and lunch
  • A selection of books will be available for purchase

Sunday, September 18, 2011: Workshops by Jocelyn Cohen, Stephen Edwards, Katherine Greenberg, Don Mahoney, and Pete Veilleux, guided tour and plant sales at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley. Five concurrent workshops over two time slots:

  • Container gardening by Pete Veilleux
  • Wildlife gardening by Don Mahoney
  • Plants for dry shade by Katherine Greenberg
  • Rockeries in native plant gardens by Stephen Edwards
  • Aesthetic pruning by Jocelyn Cohen

Sunday participants are invited to bring a picnic lunch, and stay for afternoon plant sales and docented tours at two locations: Regional Parks Botanic Garden as well as Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Road, Berkeley.

The symposium is organized by California Native Plant Society, Friends of Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and Pacific Horticulture.

Members and subscribers of the sponsoring organizations receive a discount on registration fees.

Space is limited and early registration is recommended.

For more information and to register, visit http://gns.cnps-scv.org.. With questions, call Margot Sheffner 510-849-1627.

Fleming garden in late summer. Photo: Luke Hass

Dealing with Deer

Dealing with Deer

How to Handle Deer Problems in Your Garden

 

LOW LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

You probably have healthy fruit trees and roses with little noticeable damage. During late summer/early fall, you begin to notice many leaves missing. At this level, it’s best to move the plants the deer like near to the house or fence them off. Fencing can be very minor. This is the level at which most deer tricks and “folk” remedies work. However, prepare to move up to next level of protection as your garden develops and the deer get wise to your tricks. Remember to cage all plants the first fall if you are watering or doing fall planting. Deer will zero in on most Ceanothus and Cercocarpus species.

MODERATE LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

Your trees will have no fruit or leaves below 4 feet. Your roses will have every leaf removed in late summer and fall. Plants listed as “Deer Proof” hold up well but will be sampled once or twice a year. If you plant and/or water your plants during late summer/fall expect to get much more damage. This is deer salad in a dry time. Do not plant Atriplex species or Arctostaphylos from areas other than your own. Most Ceanothus, Fremontodendron, Lyonothamnus and Lilium species must be caged until tall and woody. Deer will also eat small pines in fall, so cage. They will also eat new growth on pines if it can reached. Again, cage the first fall. Planting in an area that receives moderate level deer browse is much easier in the spring.

HIGH LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

At this level, deer are literally living with you. During the day you see them sleeping, while at night they wander through your garden sampling as if at a salad bar buffet. You may even notice they will even eat so-called poisonous plants like oleanders and buckeyes. In the fall, redwoods and other soft-wooded conifers can be pushed out of the ground by bucks cleaning their antlers. Las Pilitas Nursery experienced this nuisance for a month, two years in a row, near the end of the 7-year drought. Deer destroyed thousands of container stock until a 7-foot fence and motion detectors were installed.

The fence has to be one the deer can neither climb over nor crawl under. Fences work best on a slope because deer do not seem to want to jump fences where the land slopes steeply. With a slope you can get away with a much lower fence. A 3-foot orchard fence with 2 strands of barb wire above (making it a 4- foot fence) next to a 45% slope will not be jumped. Large bucks can clear a 7-foot fence on flat ground if determined. Deer will get under a fence with as little as a 5-inch clearance. Again, remember to stop watering as soon as possible. Watering does not allow a plant to form protective resins and will make a normally stinky leaved plant like elderberry odorless and edible to deer.

The following plants offer hope in deer infested areas:

Acacia greggii. A well armed shrub-tree. Deer will only eat new growth.

Amorpha californica. Deciduous shrub. Deer have never touched. Difficult to grow and hard to find.

Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’. Cover for first year with chicken wire so deer can not pull out of the ground. Plant i-gallon size 8 feet apart & in 2 to 3 years will have a fine groundcover.

Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’. Has been deer proof at all but one site to date. If heavily watered or in rich soils deer will eat in late summer/fall.

Ceanothus ‘Mills Glory’. Have been deer proof at all known sites.

Ceanothus ‘Snowball’. Deer proof on all sites but is only happy at coast.

Cupressus species. Deer do not like these at all. Drive 3 T -posts next to these after they get 4-5 feet tall. Bucks love to clean the dead skin off their antlers on these.

Mimulus (Diplacus) species. Shrubby Monkey flowers have not been enjoyed by deer yet.

Erigeron glaucus. ‘Wayne Roderick’ seems to be most deer proof in most instances. Other varieties go from untouched to nothing left.

Ferns. California native ferns seem to be safe.

Iris species. Deer have not eaten even if bedding in vicinity. Unknown if safe on sites where they are not native.

Monardella species. Untouched.

Satureja douglasii. Will be deer proof if you stop watering in summer and allow it to go dormant.

Sequoia sempervirens. Same as Cupressus.

Sequoiadendron giganteum. Same as Cupressus.

 

Adapted from Las Pilitas Nursery with permission from Bert Wilson 2000.

Compiled by members of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society,
P. O. Box 784, San Luis Obispo CA 93406

 

Pine Forest Mushroom List

Pine Forest Mushroom List

Pine Forest Mushroom List for Cambria, CA

 

Compiled by: Mark Brunschwiler, David Krause, Dennis Sheridan

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If you are interested in local mushroom hunting, consider attending our annual Fungal Foray field trip, held in the fall in Cambria.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Notes

Agaricus augustus Prince Roadsides and disturbed areas
Agaricus californicus Mock meadow mushroom Roadsides and disturbed areas
Agaricus campestris Meadow mushroom In grassy areas at edge of woods
Aleuria aurantia Orange peel fungus
Amanita calyptrata Coccora
Amanita gemmata Gemmed amanita
Amanita muscaria Fly agaric
Amanita muscaria Yellow form of fly agaric
Amanita ocreata Destroying angel
Amanita pachycolea Western grisette
Amanita pantherina Panther amanita
Amanita phalloides Death cap
Amanita rubescens Blusher
Amanita velosa Springtime amanita
Aqaricus silvicola Woodland agaricus
Armillaria mellea Honey mushroom
Boletus chrysenteron Cracked-cap bolete
Boletus dryophilus Oak loving bolete
Boletus edulis King bolete
Boletus piperatus Peppery bolete
Boletus satanus Satan’s bolete
Boletus zelleri Zeller’s bolete
Cantharellus cibarius Chanterelle
Chrooqomphus visicolor Wine colored pine spike
Clitocybe dealbata Sweat-producing Clitocybe
Clitocybe nuda Wood blewit
Coprinus atramentarius Inky cap
Cortinarius species Purple cortinarius
Cortinarius species Rimmed cortinarius
Craterellus cornucpioides Black trumpet
Crucibulum laeve Bird nest fungus
Cryptoporus volvatus Cryptic globe fungus
Daldinia grandis Crampballs
Ganoderma applanatum Artist’s conch
Geastrum species Earth star
Gymnopilus spectabilis Laughing Jim
Gyromitra californica Umbrella false morel
Helvella lacunosa Fluted black elfin saddle
Hericium erinaceus Lion’s mane
Hygrocybe conica Witches hat
Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca False chanterelle
Hypomyces chrysospermus Boletus eater
Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis Amethyst gilled laccaria
Laccaria laccata Lack luster laccaria
Lactarius alnicola Golden milk cap
Lactarius chrysorheus Yellow staining milk cap
Lactarius deliciosus Delicious milk cap
Lactarius rubidus (fragilis) Candy cap
Lactarius vinaceorufescens Yellow staining lactarius
Lepiota rachodes Parasol mushroom
Leucopaxillus albissimus Large white leucopaxillus
Leucopaxillus amarus Bitter brown Leucopaxillus
Lycoperdon foetidum Black puffball
Lycoperdon perlatum Common or Gemmed puffball
Marasmiums ordeades Fairy ring mushroom In grassy areas
Mycena purpureofusca Grows on pine cones
Mycena species Little brown mushroom
Naematoloma fasciculare Clustered woodlover
Omphalotus olivascens Western jack-o-lantern mushroom
Panaeolus campanulatus Bell-shaped panaeolus
Phaeolus schweinitzii Dyer’s polypore
Pistolithus tinctorius Dead man’s foot
Pleurotus ostreatus Oyster mushroom
Poria species
Ramaria rasilispora Yellow coral mushroom
Rhizopoqon rubescens Blushing false truffle
Russula albidula White russula
Russula emetica Emetic russula
Russula rosacea Rosy stemmed russula
Russula species Brick capped russula
Sparassis crispa Cauliflower mushroom
Suillus brevipes Short stem slippery jack
Suillus luteus Slippery jack
Suillus punqens Pungent slippery jack
Trametes versicolor Bracket fungus or turkey tails
Tremella foliacea Brown witches butter
Tremella mesenterica Witches butter
Tricoloma species
Native Plants with Fragrance

Native Plants with Fragrance

FRAGRANT CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS
FOR THE GARDEN

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Gardening for fragrance opens up another dimension of gardening. You can be whisked back to another place and time or other remembrances by the fragrances given off by your plantings. Once you start noticing aromas, you will quickly come up with your own favorites. Since everyone’s sense of smell is different, fragrances are open to different interpretations.

Photo courtesy of Gerald and Buff Corsi
© California Academy of Sciences

 

These plants are fragrant when you are near

Brickellia californica

Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

Oenothera caespitosa (evening primrose)

Philadelphus lewisii (mock orange)

Pinus Jeffreyi (Jeffery Pine)

Ribes viburnifolium (evergreen current)

Salvia Clevelandii (Cleveland sage)

Solanum species (nightshade)

These plants are fragrant when you are very close

Calycanthus occidentalis (spice bush)

Carpenteria californica

Fragaria californica (Woodland strawberry)

Keckiella antirrhinoides (snap dragon)

Rosa species (rose)

These plants give off scent when you brush against

Artemisia species (sagebrush)

Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

Cupressus species (cedars)

Juniperus species (junipers)

Lepechinia species (pitcher sage)

Mentha arvensis (mint)

Monardella species (Ca. pennyroyal)

Myrica californica (Ca sweet bay)

Ribes species (currants)

Salvia species (sages)

Satureja species (Yerba Buena)

Trichostema lanatum (wooly blue curls)

Umbellularia californica (Ca bay-laurel)

These plants are fragrant at dusk or night

Oenothera caespitosa (Evening Primrose) Solanum species (nightshades)

Carpenteria californica

Fragaria californica (woodland strawberry)

Keckiellia antirrhinoides (snapdragon)

These plants give off a sweet fragrance

Brickellia californica

Philadelphus lewisii

Rosa species (rose)

Solanum species (nightshade)

These plants give off a sage-like fragrance

Artemisia species (Sagebrush)

Juniperus species (juniper)

Lepechinia species (pitcher sage)

Salvia species (sage)

Trichostema species (wooly blue curls)

Miscellaneous fragrances

BAYBERRY Myrica californica (CA sweet bay)

BAY-LIKE Umbellularia californica (CA bay-laurel)

INCENSE Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

INCENSE PLUS LAVENDER: Pinus Jeffreyi (Jeffery pine)

SPICY Calycanthus occidentalis (CA spicebush)

Ribes viburnifolium (vergreen current)

Ribes species (current)

WINE Calycanthus occidentalis (CA spicebush)

MINT Mentha arvensis (field mint)

Monardella species (CA pennyroyal)

Satureja species (Yerba Buena)

Courtesy of Las Pilitas Nursery. Edited by Al Naydol with permission from Bert Wilson.
Schoenoplectus californicus

Schoenoplectus californicus

California Tule and Common Tule

The illustration below is a set of drawings Bonnie did for Dr. David Keil’s and my plant taxonomy text plus a new one of the plants’ growth form. These species grow in areas where the soil is at least seasonally wet. These species require lots of fresh water but are capable of surviving periodic short exposures to salt water. They are commonly called tule or bull-rush. These tall (usually over 6 ft. or 2 m) more or less grass-like perennial plants resemble spears or pikes as they have no apparent leaves. (Leaves, except for short ones just below the flowers, are restricted to sheaths at the base of the stem.) Their flowers are borne in clusters just below their often sharp tips. There is a potential problem with the two common names given.

These names have been used for members of two different genera from two separate plant families — the sedge (Cyperaceae) and the rush (Juncaceae) families. A look at Bonnie’s drawings will show that the illustrated plant is clearly a sedge. How does one know? When I first took a plant taxonomy course, I learned a little rhyme which aided in identification of the three common “grass-like” families — the rushes, sedges and grasses (Poaceae). It goes, “Rushes are round, sedges have edges, and grass comes in joints.” “The grass comes in joints” part is a corruption of what the rhyme historically said. Since I was in college in the sixties and the corruption dates from then, I never learned the correct, that is, original wording. Maybe someone can help me out. Bonnie has shown a stem cross section. Note that it is triangular although the “edges” are rounded. Further, the flower clusters are sedge-like, produced in minute elongate clusters called spikelets. Each tiny flower is hidden behind a single bract. In these species the perianth (sepals and petals), is represented by dry, flat ribbons. Because “rush” is the name commonly used for members of the Juncaceae, I prefer the name tule over bull-rush.

There are two species of tule commonly found in our coastal wetlands. They are the common tule, S. acutus and the California tule, S. californicus. According to Robert Hoover, a third  species of tule (S. olneyi) with its very sharply triangular stems is “occasional in marshes near the coast and rare inland.” I’ve not actually identified this species so I know essentially nothing about it. The two common species are fairly easy to distinguish.

Tule, illustrated by Bonnie Walters

Tule, illustrated by Bonnie Walters

California tule has bright green stems that are bluntly triangular while common tule possesses a grey-green round stem. The illustration is of a California tule.

 

A word about the ‘S.’ or genus name in the two species binomials. According to Jan Timbrook (2007) in her book, Chumash Ethnobotany, the correct genus name, according the Flora of North America Project and presumably the new Jepson Manual when it is published, hopefully later this year, will be Schoenoplectus. However, none of the current floras use this name so Jan Timbrook decided to continue to use the long established name, Scirpus. Tules have two extensive chapters in Jan Timbrook’s book. She indicates the Chumash recognized two kinds of tule based on their cross sections — flat (actually not a tule but the cattail) and round, tule redondo. Some other tribes did acknowledge the difference between the triangular and round stem tule. As might be expected from two chapters devoted to one type of plant in an ethno-botany book, native people had many uses for the tule. Seeds, rhizomes, and young shoots were sometimes eaten although one source indicated that they felt gathering them for food (especially the seeds) was not worth the effort. The stems were bundled and the bundles overlapped to produce a thatching for Chumash dwellings. Bundles were also tied together in such a way to form a canoe-like water craft. Stems were also used extensively to form mats used in many ways. There are many other uses but I’ve not space to discuss them. However, I feel I have to mention one last use I did find intriguing. Poorer classes of women wove skirts out of tule because they couldn’t afford the animal skins used for clothing by the upper classes of Chumash. I guess I was naive enough to think sorting into economic classes was found only in modern economic and political systems.

by Dirk Walters, illustrations by Bonnie Walters | Dirk and Bonnie Walters are long-time CNPS-SLO members, contributors, and board/committee participants. In addition to his work at Cal Poly, Dirk is the current CNPS-SLO Historian.
California Native Plants that Attract Birds

California Native Plants that Attract Birds

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Plant these natives to attract birds to your garden.

Don’t forget that insect eating birds will visit most of these plants when looking for spiders, gnats, flys, moths, etc.

Genus/Species Part Used When Specific Birds
Acacia Greggii Seeds Summer Mourning Dove
Atriplex species Leaves/Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Quail, Sparrows, Towhees
Abies concolor Leaves All-year Blue Grouse, Red Crossbill, Clark’s Nutcracker Pygmy Nuthatch
Acer macrophyllum Seeds/Buds/Flowers Spr/Sum/Fall Evening Grosbeak, many others
Acer negundo Same as macrophyllum in all categories
Achillea borealis. Seeds Summer Goldfinches
Adenostoma fasciculatum Seeds Summer Goldfinches
Alnus rhombifolia Nesting Spring Warblers
Seeds Summer Pine Siskin, Goldfinches
Buds Spring Cedar Waxwings
Alnus rubra Same as rhombifolia all categories
Amelanchier alnifolia Fruits Summer Many Species
Antirrhinum multiflorum Flowers/Seeds Spring/Sum Hummingbirds & seed eaters
Aquilegia species Flowers Spring/Sum Hummingbirds
Arbutus menziesii Fruit Fall Band-tailed Pigeon, Varied Thrush, Long Tailed Chat
Arctostaphylos species Fruit Sum/Fall Jays, Grosbeaks, Mockingbirds, Fox Sparrow
Flowers Late Win/Early Sp. Hummingbirds
Artemisia species Leaves All-Year Sage Grouse, Quail
Flowers /Seeds Spr/Sum /Fall Towhee
Asclepias species Stems, nests Spring Orioles
Aster species Seeds Fall Finches, Sparrows
Baccharis species Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Sparrows
Beloperon californica Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds, Finches, Sparrows
Ceanothus species Seeds Sum/Fall Quail
Cephalanthus occidentalis Seeds Sum/Fall Ducks
Cercis occidentalis Seeds/Flowers Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Gold Finches
Cercocarpus species Seeds/Leaves Sum/Fall Blue Grouse
Chilopsis linearis Seeds/Flowers Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Doves
Chrysothamnus species Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Quail, Pine Siskin
Comarostaphylis diversifolia Flowers/Fruits Spr/Sum/Fall MANY SPECIES!
Cornus species Flowers/Fruits Spr/Sum/Fall MANY SPECIES!
Cupressus species Seeds Sum/Fall Red-breasted Nuthatch & others
Delphinium cardinale Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Mimulus (Diplacus) species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Dudleya species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Eleocharis species Seeds/Culms/Tubers Fall Ducks, Teals,Geese, Scaups, Swans, Rails, Sandpipers, Snipe
Encelia californica Seeds Spr/Fall Sparrows, Finches
Equisetum species Stems/Rootstocks All-Year Geese, Swans, Waterfowl
Eriogonum species Leaves/Seeds All-Year Finches, Juncos, Sparrows, Towhees
Eschscholzia species Seeds Summer Quail
Forestiera neomexicana Fruit Summer Quail, Robin, Other Fruit Eating Birds
Fragaria species Leaves/Fruit All-Year MANY SPECIES!
Fraxinus species Seeds Fall Quail, Finches, Grosbeaks, Cedar Waxwings, Wood Ducks
Galvezia speciosa Flowers Spring Hummingbirds
Geranium species Seeds Summer Doves, Quail, Towhees
Helianthus species Seeds Fall Seed eating birds, Goldfinches, Bush Tits
Heteromeles arbutifolia Berries Winter Blue Birds, Robins, Band-tailed Pigeon
Heuchera maxima Flowers Spring Hummingbirds
Juglans californica Nuts Winter Jays
Keckiella species Flowers Spr/Summer Hummingbirds
Lavatera assurgentiflora Flowers/Seeds Sum/Fall Hummingbirds/Seed eaters
Lepechinia calycina Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Lonicera species Flowers/Berries Spr/Sum/Fall Hummingbirds, Towhees, Robins, Thrashers, Bluebird
Lupinus species Seeds Summer Quail, Dove
Mahonia nevinii Berries Summer Bluebirds, Thrashers, Robins, Towhee
Mahonia aquifolium Berries Summer Thrashers, Robins, Towhees, Others
Malacothamnus species Seeds Fall Bush Tits/Others
Mimulus species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Monardella species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Penstemons species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Pinus species Seeds/Bark All-Year Jays, Nuthatches, Many species!
Platanus racemosa Fuzz/Seeds Spr/Winter Seed eaters, fuzz used by Hummers for nesting
Prunus species Berries Summer Jays, many others
Quercus species Seeds Fall/Winter Jays, Hummers, Many species!
Rhamnus species Berries Summer Jays, Thrashers, Berry eaters!
Rhus species Berries Spr/Sum Thrashers,Towhees, Many species
Ribes viburnifolium Berries/Flowers Win/Sum Hummingbirds, Thrashers, Towhees
Ribes species Berries/Flowers Win/Sum Hummingbirds, Jays, Thrashers, others
Rosa species Hips Sum/Fall Thrashers,Towhees Jays,Others
Salix species Insects/Catkins All-Year Many Species Use Galls
Salvia species Flowers/Seeds Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Seed eaters
Sambucus species Berries/Flowers All-Year Many, Many Species
Scrophularia species Flowers/Seeds Spr/Sum Hummingbirds, Seed eaters
Shepherdia argentea Berries Summer Berry eaters
Sidalcea species Seeds Summer Thrashers, Seed Eaters
Solanum species Berries Summer Berry eaters
Stachys species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Trichostema lanatum Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Washington Filifera Dates Sum/Fall Cedar Waxwings, Others
Epilobium (Zauschneria)sp. Flowers Sum/Fall Hummingbirds

Reference: Las Pilitas Nursery, with permission of Bert Wilson. Edited by Al Naydol and members of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Plants that Attract Butterflies

Plants that Attract Butterflies

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To attract butterflies it is important to have two types of plants growing in your yard or your general area:

1) food plants for the larvae (caterpillars), and

2) nectar plants for adult butterflies.

The most important plants for caterpillars are buckwheat, California lilac (Ceanothus), deerweed and milk vetch and lupines, mallows, oaks, rock cress and other mustards, and grasses. Unless you provide larval food plants in your garden or nearby, the number of adult butterflies will be limited.

The butterflies of San Luis Obispo County are listed below, with the host/food plant of the caterpillar. In most cases food of the adult butterfly is also given, that is, the nectar plant. Adults may use the host plant or not. They generally visit many flowers, not just these reported ones.

Compiled by George Butterworth, California Native Plant Society, © 2007. Bold letters = common. Groups and species are in alphabetical order, not taxonomic. Nearly all the plants given are California natives.

 

ADMIRALS

 

California sister. Coast & canyon live oak. Adults use rotting fruit, dung, sap; rarely flowers.Lorquin’s admiral. Willows, cottonwoods, chokecherry. Adults: buckeye, yerba santa, Calif. lilac, mint, sap, fruit, dung.

Red admiral. Nettles, eg hoary; pellitory. Adults: sap, rotting fruit; composites, bur marigold, milkweed, stonecrop, mint.

BLUES

 

Acmon blue. Buckwheats; legumes: deerweed, lupine, Spanish lotus, milk vetch, clover; milkweed. Adults: rabbitbrush, coyote brush, marsh baccharis, heliotrope, buckwheat.

Arrowhead blue. Lupines (eg bush), milk vetch. Adults: hosts; also buckwheat, yerba santa, mint, vetch, dogbane.

Bernardino blue. Buckwheats, eg Calif., sulfur, coast. Adults: same. Our square-spotted blues are here (Opler database).

Boisduval’s blue. Lupines, buckwheat. Adults use buckwheat too, and composites.

Lupine blue. California, sulfur, and other buckwheats. Adults use the host plants, and pussy paws.

Marine blue. Legumes: milk vetch, clover, wild pea, deerweed; leadwort. Adults: wild licorice, probably other hosts.

Pacific dotted blue. Buckwheats: sulfur, nude, & inflated. Adults use them too.

San Emigdio blue. 4-wing saltbush. Nectar: heliotrope.

Silvery blue. Legumes: lupines, vetches, wild pea, milk vetch, lotus, deerweed. Adults: composites, lupine, fiddleneck.

Sonoran blue. Dudleya. Adults: fiddleneck, brodiaea.

Bramble green hairstreak Bill Bouton

Spring azure (echo). Dogwood, oaks, Chinese houses, Calif. lilac, buckeye, Calif. aster. Adults: Calif. lilac, rock cress, milkweed, willow, violet.

Western pygmy blue. Saltbush (eg 4-wing, quailbush, spear oracle), sea blite, pickleweed, pigweed. Nectar: coyote brush, rabbitbrush, golden rod, aster.

Western tailed blue. Legumes like milk vetch, lotus, vetch (eg giant), wild pea. Adults: host plants, and buckwheat, pussy paws, yerba santa, composites, dogbane.

BUCKEYE Common buckeye. Plantains, snapdragon, monkey flower, owl’s clover; blue toadflax, verbena, pine. Adults: coreopsis, aster, rabbitbrush, coyote brush; mint, buckwheat, plantain, heliotrope, buckeye, sage, marsh baccharis.
CHECKERSPOTS Edith’s checkerspot. Many in the figwort family, eg paintbrush; valerian, honeysuckle, plantain (Plantago erecta). Adults: pincushion, yerba santa, milkweed.

Gabb’s checkerspot. California aster, telegraph weed, sawtooth goldenbush.

Leanira checkerspot. Paintbrush, bird’s beak. Nectar: yellow composites, nude buckwheat, coyote mint, yerba santa.

Variable checkerspot. Paintbrush, beardtongue, sticky monkey flower, Calif. figwort; snowberry, others. Nectar: yerba santa, buckwheat, globe gilia, daisy, mint, many others.

COMMAS (ANGLEWINGS) Oreas comma. Straggly gooseberry. Adults take sap.

Satyr comma. Nettles, eg hoary nettle. Adults: sap, fruit.

COPPERS

 

Gorgon copper. Long-stem, nude buckwheats. Adults: host plants, and woolly sunflower, milkweed.

Great copper. Docks, eg wild rhubarb. Nectar: gumplant, heliotrope, dogbane, white umbels.

Purplish copper. Docks, knotweeds like willow weed, smartweed; cinquefoils, horkelia. Adults: heliotrope, aster, coyote brush.

Tailed copper. Gooseberries, currants. Adults use composites, asters, nude buckwheat.

CRESCENTS Mylitta crescent. Thistles. Adults use asters, thistles, rabbitbrush, buckwheats, yerba santa, heliotrope.
DUSKYWINGS, CLOUDY- AND SOOTYWINGS Common sooty wing. Pigweed, amaranth, mallow, ambrosia. Adults use milkweed, heliotrope, clover.

Funereal dusky-wing. Many legumes, eg deerweed. Adults use sunflowers, buckwheat, yerba santa.

Mojave sooty-wing. Saltbush, eg 4 wing.

Mournful dusky-wing. Oaks: live, blue, valley. Adults: yerba santa, buckeye, verbena, buckwheats, sage, mint.

Northern cloudy-wing. Legumes like milk vetch, clover, lotus, false indigo, vetch. Adults use mints, vetches, thistles, milkweed, dogbane, yerba santa, brodiaea, buckeye.

Pacuvius dusky-wing. Calif. lilac, eg buck brush & Jim brush. Adults use the same, and yellow composites.

Propertius dusky-wing. Oaks, eg coast live and Oregon. Adults use blue dicks, yerba santa, Calif. lilac, vetches, phacelia, fiddleneck, buckeye, dogbane.

Sleepy dusky-wing. Oaks, especially leather. Adults use verbena, redbud, heaths, composites, wild onions.

FRITILLARIES Callippe fritillary. Violets. Adults take nectar from yerba santa, buckwheat, coyote mint, sage.

Coronis fritillary. Violets. Adults use aster, rabbitbrush, goldenrod, thistle; yerba santa, mint, buckeye, sage.

Gulf fritillary. Passion vines (alien). Adults use daisies, thistles.

HAIRSTREAKS

 

 

Bramble Green Hairstreak- photo: BillBouton

Bramble green hairstreak (western green). Buckwheats, legumes like deer weed; Calif. lilac. Nectar: yerba santa, Calif. buckwheat, buckeye, dogbane.

Brown elfin. Manzanita, buck brush, madrone, salal, soap plant, dodder, many others. Adults use Calif. buckwheat, willow, redbud, yerba santa.

California hairstreak. Oaks mainly; also buck brush, mountain mahogany, deer brush. Nectar: yerba santa, milkweed, dogbane, buckwheat.

Gold-hunter’s hairstreak. Oaks, esp. blue and scrub; also interior live. Nectar: buckeye, buckwheat (eg nude), dogbane, milkweed, yerba santa.

Golden hairstreak. Canyon live oak, chinquapin, tan oak. No flower nectar taken; food unknown.

Gray hairstreak. Legumes, mallows, buckwheats, chamise, many others. Adults visit numerous flowers.

Great purple hairstreak. Mistletoe. Adults: buckwheat, umbels, composites, buckeye, milkweed.

Hedgerow hairstreak. Calif. lilacs, esp. buck brush; mountain mahogany. Adults use the same, plus buckwheat, dogbane, yerba santa.

Juniper hairstreak (siva). California juniper. Adults: goldenbush, yarrow, buckwheat (eg sulfur), tansy mustard, milkweed.

Moss’s elfin. Stonecrop, dudleya.

Mountain mahogany hairstreak. Mountain mahogany. Nectar: Calif. buckwheat, yerba santa, milkweed.

Muir’s hairstreak. Sargeant cypress. Adults: Calif. lilac.

Sylvan hairstreak. Willows. Adults use milkweed.

Thicket hairstreak. Pine mistletoe. Adults use rabbitbrush.

LADIES

 

American lady. Everlastings, pussy-toes. Nectar: yerba santa, thistles, marsh baccharis, aster, buckwheat, milkweed.

Painted lady. Thistles, mallows, legumes, nettle, borages (eg fiddleneck). Nectar: composites (eg aster, thistles), buckwheat, yerba santa, mint, borages, lobelia.

West Coast lady. Mallows (eg checker mallow, island mallow), nettles. Nectar: thistles, yerba santa, buckwheat, mallow, mint, sage, milkweed.

MARBLES California marble (pearly). Mustards like jewelflower, tansy mustard, rock cress. Adults use the same, plus pussy paws.

Large marble. Mustards like rock cress (eg tower mustard), wall flower, tansy mustard. Adults: mustards, fiddleneck, brodiaea.

METALMARKS Behr’s metalmark. Calif. buckwheat. Adults: buckwheat.

Mormon metalmark. Buckwheats like Calif., inflated, coast, and nude. Adults: buckwheats; also aster, senecio, rabbitbrush.

MILKWEEDS /MONARCH Monarch. Milkweed. Adults: mint, milkweed, composites (eg sunflower, mulefat), manzanita, mallow.

Queen. Milkweed. Nectar: sunflowers, milkweed.

ORANGETIPS Desert orangetip. Mustards like tansy mustard, rock cress, jewelflower, desert candle.

Pacific (Sara) orangetip. Mustards, eg tower mustard, tansy mustard, lace pod. Adults: host plants, plus thistle, fiddleneck, brodiaea, buckeye, blue dicks, yerba santa.

SATYRS Common ringlet. Grasses like perennial fescue (maybe red or

Calif.) Adults use flowers.

Great Basin wood nymph. Grasses like perennial fescue (maybe red or Calif.) Adults use composites, buckeye, Calif. and nude buckwheat.

SKIPPERS Columbian skipper. Junegrass, oatgrass. Adults use rabbitbrush, goldenrod.

Common checkered-skipper. Monterey Co., maybe here. Mallows. Adults use aster, fleabane, rabbitbrush.

Eufala skipper. Grasses like bermuda. Nectar: vetch, composites, croton, heliotrope.

Fiery skipper. Bermuda grass, crabgrass, others. Nectar: composites, verbena.

Lindsey’s skipper. Native grasses like fescue, oatgrass. Adults visit clarkia, mule ears.

Northern white-skipper. Mallows like bush mallow. Adults use lobelia, yerba santa, composites, mints, buckwheat.

Rural skipper. Grasses like melic; horkelia. Adults: buckeye.

Sachem. Bermuda grass, crabgrass. Adults: milkweed, verbena; rabbitbrush, sunflower, thistle, coyote brush.

Sandhill skipper. Grasses like saltgrass, bermuda. Adults use aster, heliotrope.

Silver-spotted skipper. Legumes: locust, wild licorice, false indigo, lotus. Nectar: honeysuckle, milkweed, thistle, yerba santa, vetch, buckeye, dogbane.

Small checkered-skipper. Mallows like alkali mallow. Adults: mints, milkweed, composites, heliotrope.

Two-banded checkered-skipper. Horkelia, cinquefoil. Adults use pussy paws.

Umber skipper. Grasses, eg hairgrass; sedge. Adults use thistles, coyote brush, yerba santa, milkweed, buckeye.

Western branded skipper. Grasses, eg bluegrass, needlegrass, fescue; sedges. Adults use asters, thistles, mint, buckwheat, yerba santa.

White checkered-skipper. Mallows like alkali mallow.

Woodland skipper. Tall broad-leaf grasses, eg wild rye. Adults use asters, thistles, everlasting, rabbitbrush, coyote brush, dogbane.

SULFURS

 

California dogface | photo: Bill Bouton

California dogface. False indigo, other legumes. Adults: yerba santa, buckeye, thistle, verbena, woolly blue curls, sage, mint, hedge nettle, Calif. fuchsia.

Cloudless sulphur. Senna. Nectar: thistle, morning glory.

Harford’s sulfur. Douglas milkvetch, deerweed, lupine. Nectar plants: thistle, mint.

Orange sulfur (alfalfa). Legumes: vetches, clovers, milk vetch, deerweed. Adults use milkweed, aster.

Southern dogface. Legumes, eg clovers, false indigo. Adults use coreopsis, verbena.

Sleepy orange. Sennas. Adults use bur marigold, daisies.

Anise swallowtail. Umbels, eg anise (non-native), Tauschia, Lomatium. Adults visit a vast array of flowers.

Pale swallowtail. Rose family, eg holly-leaf cherry; buckthorns, eg redberry, coffeeberry, Calif. lilac (eg buck brush). Adults: wallflower, yerba santa, thistle, mint, lilies, Ithuriel’s spear, blue dicks.

Western tiger swallowtail. Cottonwood, willow, sycamore, ash, alder trees. Nectar: composites, lilies, thistles, yerba santa, milkweed, coyote mint, buckeye, dogbane, lobelia, sage.

TORTOISESHELLS

 

California tortoiseshell. Calif. lilacs, eg buck brush, blue blossom. Adults: flowers (eg manzanita), fruit, sap.

Milbert’s tortoiseshell. Nettles. Adults: fruit, thistle, daisies, rabbitbrush, aster, coyote mint, chokecherry.

Mourning cloak. Willows, cottonwoods. Adults: oak sap, fruit, willow, composites, rabbitbrush.

WHITES

 

Becker’s white. Mustards, eg prince’s plume; bladderpod. Nectar: mustards, rabbitbrush, aster, goldenrod.

Cabbage white. Non-native. Many mustards, eg crops. Adults use mustards, mint, composites.

Checkered white. Many mustards, eg peppergrass. Nectar: mustards, composites, aster, daisy, milkweed, legumes.

Margined white. Mustards, eg toothwort, rock cress, water cress. Adults use mustards.

Spring white. Mustards, eg rock cress, jewel flower, tansy mustard, lace pod. Adults use a variety of flowers.

 

TOTALS: 99 species (49 common)

GARDENING TIPS

Butterflies like:

  • big patches of flowers and color
  • sunny places without wind
  • wet places for “puddling”
  • weedy areas

Insecticides and herbicides are very harmful.

IMPORTANT NECTAR PLANTS (adapted from lists by Las Pilitas Nursery and Paul Opler)

In order to have adult butterflies in your garden for the longest period of time (spring to fall) you must have plants flowering continuously. Thus the nectar plants below are very important. They are given in approximate order of flowering time, beginning with March. You may have to revise these for your own place, according to zone, soil, etc.

Globe gilia. Gilia capitata. Hedge nettle. Stachys.
Pincushion. Chaenactis, eg glabriuscula. Saw-tooth goldenbush. Hazardia squarrosa.
Seaside daisy. Erigeron glaucus. Verbena. Verbena lasiostachys.
Yerba santa. Eriodictyon californicum. Woolly blue curls. Trichostema lanatum.
Sunflower. Helianthus gracilentus. Thistle. Cirsium, eg occidentale var venustum.
Sage. Salvia, eg mellifera, spathacea. Desert willow. Chiloposis linearis.
Mock orange. Philadelphus lewisii. Milkweed. Asclepias eriocarpa, fascicularis.
Tree anemone. Carpenteria californica. Buckwheat. Eriogonum elongatum, latifolium, nudum, roseum.
Buckwheat. Eriogonum fasciculatum. California fuschia. Epilobium canum.
Mint. Monardella. Rabbitbrush. Chrysothamnus nauseosus.

GLOSSARY, CHOICES

Aster Aster, eg chilensis. Calif. aster— Lessingia filaginifolia.

Beardtongue Penstemon, eg centranthifolius, heterophyllus

Buck brush Ceanothus cuneatus

Buckwheat Eriogonum elongatum (long stem), fasciculatum (Calif.), latifolium (coast), nudum (nude), roseum (rosy), trichopes (inflated), umbellatum (sulfur).

California lilac Ceanothus, eg cuneatus, griseus, maritimus, thyrsiflorus

Composites Asteraceae

Daisy Erigeron, esp. glaucus, foliosus

Deerweed Lotus scoparius

Dock Rumex hymenosepalus, maritimus, or salicifolius

Everlasting Anaphalis; Gnaphalium, eg californicum, canescens

False indigo Amorpha california

Fescue Festuca californica, elmeri, rubra (red)

Figwort Scrophulariaceae. Scrophularia atrata or californica

Fleabane Erigeron, eg glaucus, foliosus

Legumes Fabaceae, pea family

Lotus Lotus scoparius; and L. purshianus (Spanish lotus), others

Mallow Malvaceae . Eremalche parryi; Lavatera (tree mallow); Malacothamnus jonesii, palmeri, davidsonii (bush mallows); Malvella leprosa (alkali mallow); Sidalcea diploscypha, malvaeflora, hickmanii (checker mallows).

Milkweed Asclepias fascicularis (narrow leaf), eriocarpa (Indian)

Milk vetch Astragalus curtipes, douglasii, macrodon, nuttallii,

(locoweed) oxyphysus, trichopodus

Mint Lamiaceae: Agastache urticifolia; Mentha arvensis; Monardella, eg antonina, frutescens, palmeri, villosa; Stachys; Trichostema lanatum

Mustard Brassicaceae

Nettle mainly Urtica dioica

Pigweed Chenopodium esp. californicum

Plantain Plantago elongata, erecta, maritima, subnuda

Rock cress Arabis glabra; also pulchra, sparsiflora

Sage Salvia carduacea, leucophylla, mellifera, spathacea

Snapdragon Antirrhinum, eg kelloggii, multiflorum

Soap plant Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Sunflower Helianthus gracilentus, plus annuals annuus, bolanderi

Thistle Cirsium, eg brevistylum, occidentale

Tower mustard Arabis glabra

Umbels Apiaceae, carrot family

Vetch Vicia americana, gigantea, hassei

Violet Viola, esp. V. pedunculata

Wild pea Lathyrus jepsonii, vestitus

Yerba Santa Eriodictyon californicum, tomentosum, traskiae

REFERENCES:

“Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site,” 2006, [butterfly.ucdavis.edu] Brock & Kaufman, Butterflies of North America, 2003.

Bouton, Bill, personal communication

Garth and Tilden, California Butterflies, 1986.

Glasberg, Jeffrey, Butterflies Through Binoculars, the West, 2001.

Heath, Fred, An Introduction to Southern California Butterflies, 2004.

Hickman, The Jepson Manual, 1993.

Hoover, The Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County, 1970.

Las Pilitas Nursery, [laspilitas.com]

Naydol, Al, “California Native Plants for Butterfly Gardening”, 2002.

Opler, Paul, “Butterflies and Moths of North America,” database, 2006. [butterfliesandmoths.org]

Opler & Wright, Western Butterflies (Peterson Guide), 1999

Pyle, Robert, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, 1981.

Sedenko, Jerry, The Butterfly Garden, 1991

Layia platyglossa

Layia platyglossa

Tidy-tips

Layia platyglossa is one of our more common spring wildflowers. It can turn the hills a shade of yellow. When people talk of great wildflower displays, it is often this plant of which they are speaking. Its flowers are predominately yellow. The center is dark yellow to even orange while the bases of the petal-like structures are medium yellow. The tips are pale yellow to white. When in mass, they form medium-yellow patches as opposed to dark orange-yellow of goldfields (Lasthenia).

It is the pale tips that give this plant its common name ‒ tidy-tips. It is a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae or Compositae. The name Compositae is an older, alternative name that has been conserved by the Rules of Botanical Nomenclature. It refers to a trait shared by nearly all members of this very large family of having its tiny flowers aggregated (composited) into flower-like clusters commonly called heads. The heads are made up of two types of flowers. In the center of the head is a tight, disk-like cluster of dark-yellow to orange flowers with their petals (corollas) formed into a tube.

These flowers are called tube flowers based on this trait or disk flowers referring to their forming that tight disk in the center of the the head. However, it is the “petals” that surround the head that give us the common name. The “petals” are actually the modified corollas (petals) of the second type of flower, the ray flower. Ray flowers are so named, I assume, because they radiate out from the outer edge of the disk. The flat strap-shaped petal-like corolla is termed a ligule and is made up of three fused petals. The ligule in tidytips generally has a medium yellow base and pale yellow to white tip.

California Wildflower

Illustration by Bonnie Walters

A second species of Layia is called white layia, because its pale tip extends all the way to the ligule base. White layias are common in the drier portion of our Chapter area. Dr. Robert Hoover recognized eight Layia species in the county.  However, I’m only familiar with four of them: common, white, Munz’s, and Jones’s tidy-tips.

How do you tell them apart? Well, white layia is the easiest to distinguish because its ligule is completely pale yellow to white. The other three species would all appear to be tidy-tips in a casual photograph. In order to distinguish these, one needs to get kind of technical. A hand lens would also prove to be useful, if not essential. The main character that  distinguishes the species resides in the greenish, modified leaves immediately surrounding the heads. Leaves associated with flowers are called bracts. A tight whorl or spiral of bracts is called an involucre. In the Asteraceae, these involucre bracts are given the unique term phyllaries. The phyllary tips in common tidytips are “visibly hairy.” In contrast, the phyllary tips in Jones’s and Munz’s tidy-tips either lack hairs or have hairs so short as to appear absent (puberulent).

The common tidy-tips is by far the most widespread and is easily the one most encountered. It is especially partial to well drained, sandy or rocky soils and is found practically everywhere. In contrast, Munz’s and Jones’s tidy-tips are more localized and are partial to clay soils. Munz’s or alkali tidy-tips is found in extremely alkali soils such as around Soda Lake on the Carrizo Plain. Jones’s tidy-tips is partial to soils derived from serpentine. It is known from several locations in the San Luis Obispo area.

It must be added that tidy-tips are extremely variable in many characteristics such as presence of odor, red striping and sticky hairs on the stem and the shape of individual bracts. Members of the sunflower family do not have typical green sepals. Instead of being green, they can be absent or consist of dry scales, bristles or some combination of both. Because the sepals do not look like sepals, botanists give them another name. They are called pappus. The pappus found in the various species of tidy-tips runs the full spectrum of forms with some species such as the common tidy-tips which can possess either no pappus or a pappus of thick fuzzy bristles (awns).

by Dirk Walters, illustrations by Bonnie Walters | Dirk and Bonnie Walters are long-time CNPS-SLO members, contributors, and board/committee participants. In addition to his work at Cal Poly, Dirk is the current CNPS-SLO Historian.
May Chapter Meeting

May Chapter Meeting

Chapter Meeting

Our program for this chapter meeting includes a talk by Lisa Stratton, the Director of Ecosystem Management for UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER). She will tell us how native plants have become a priority for UCSB open space areas, and cover current and ongoing open space projects.
John Chestnut will give us a run down on the recent CNPS is proposal to add a new species, to list 1B. This species is restricted to the Central Ca sand dunes– Los Osos, Oceano, Guadalupe and Vandenberg. C. littoreum was segregated from C. carnosulum var. patagonicum by the Chenopodium author in the forthcoming Jepson 2.

David Chipping will challenge us to help out with weed control in our open areas. Much can be done, and creative ideas are welcome. David is happy to coordinate if companies, groups, or families would like to “adopt” an area within which invasive weeds are a problem.

photo courtesy of Sharon Lovejoy

 

President’s Message

If you have not yet visited our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CNPSSLO, please do as it shows recent photos of field trips, up to date flower locations and more. If you would like to post information, you can send it to me at dchippin@calpoly.edu.

We had two excellent early April field trips to Shell Creek and then to Chimineas Ranch with George Butterworth. Even though we lacked the lush windflower carpets of last year, there was plenty to see at both locations including interesting snakes and lizards. In spite of the heavy rains of March, the rains of late 2010 combined with the extended January drought to reduce the show this year, although we hope late flowering species such as Clarkia might do well. It seems you never can tell, and that is half the fun. Where you WILL have fun is at the Santa Margarita Lake picnic on May 1, so we hope to see you there.

Work has started on compiling photos of the flora of the Carrizo Plains, using the team that put together the wonderful San Luis Obispo book. If you have photos of sufficient detail of species that you suspect might be missed by the committee, please send them to me. We don’t want scenery but if you have high quality images of an interesting plant we would like to see them. Don’t be shy.

— David Chipping

Conservation May 2011

Conservation May 2011

Carrizo Projects

CNPS testified at the first Planning Commission hearing on the Topaz Solar Plant that we would prefer the plant to be moved as far to the northwest as possible into existing ploughed fields, giving better protection to grassland areas closer to California Valley and the National Monument. We are unfortunately getting opposition from agriculturalists who wish to keep the Williamson Act-protected plough land from being converted.

Weed Control

In the last newsletter I had asked for help from any certified herbicide applicators that could help us perform weed control in our vastly underfunded public lands. None were forthcoming, and so I will now ask for any people who might be willing to shovel, hoe and rake to protect native plants. I will be working with California State Parks as they have expressed a willingness to work with CNPS on this issue. Projects I have in mind are the protection of wildflower populations though veldt grass and long leaf ice plant control in the Butte Drive area of Montana de Oro and the Powell Addition to Morro Bay State Park. There is also cape ivy that can be raked out of the understory in Los Osos Oaks. I am sure some of you may have some other projects in mind. I will set up a field trip to take any interested people to look at these projects. Please contact me if you are interested in adopting some small patch in wildflowers and saving them for future generations.

California EPA

State Senator Canella is proposing a bill (SB 241) that will essentially gut the California Environmental Policy Act. CNPS urges you to contact Senator Sam Blakeslee and ask him to withdraw any support he might have for this bill. Blakeslee was one of the five state Republicans who bravely broke away from the main Republican block to attempt a budget negotiation with Governor Brown, but unfortunately he brought some elements of this bill into the bargaining process. The bill is long and you should read it at: http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/Bills/SB_241/20112012/

The bill prohibits any comments on a project after the official close of comments from being considered by an agency, even if the project was changed. It severely restricts consideration of cumulative impact, massively raises the costs of appeals and eliminates the fair argument standard for preparing an EIR, a fundamental element in the creation of CEQA. It exempts many projects and weakens enforcement to an extreme degree. There is more. You can contact Senator Blakeslee via his web page http://cssrc.us/web/15/contact_me.aspx

— David Chipping

President’s Message

We had an excellent turnout for our yearly north county meeting, and it was really great to see faces that don’t usually appear at out SLO Meetings. I would be very interested to hear from north county people on what they thought of the program, and what they would like to see next year.

Our next meeting not held in the Vets Hall, but at Shell Creek (field trip information). This is always a fun outing, and it may be a bit more of an adventure as the creek is running high at the moment. I think the wildflowers will be great this year, including those along Highway 58 on the way.

We are going to be present at Earth Day celebrations at the SLO Botanic Garden, so give us a visit. We are always looking for volunteers who would help our boothing regulars.

We will be presenting before the Board of Supervisors the week before California Wildflower Week (third week in April) with a long list of
happenings, which will also be mounted on our web site.

Contact me if you have something in mind for celebrating wildflowers during either that week or the weekends at either end. We are also trying to post stuff like wildflower sightings on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CNPSSLO. — David Chipping

Conservation April 2011

CORRECTION: In the last Conservation post of the solar project that adjoins Belmont Trail and which lies closest to the Temblor Range I mistakenly named the developer as First Solar, instead of SunPower. CNPS is also commenting on First Solar’s project, which is further north and to the west.

SunPower project

I regret to say that the Planning Commission seemed to have ignored CNPS concerns with the SunPower project’s impacts to flower fields, and approved the project by unanimous vote. We had asked that some definite conservation actions such as offsite mitigation funding be set up prior to approving the project, as the EIR assigns Class II impacts (impacts that can be mitigated) only if additional steps are taken. We have concerns that the Board of Supervisors might be equally dismissive of biological impacts on the basis of an overriding consideration that solar power and carbon reductions trump local effects. We do not have the same problems with the First Solar/ Topaz project, where impacts to flora are much less evident.

Pismo Beach and the Godfrey Ranch

In another problematic move, the City of Pismo Beach is changing the area that they are considering for annexation in the Price Canyon area, removing the Spanish Springs North Ranch property which is northwest of the highway, and adding the Godfrey Ranch which lies southwest of the Spanish Springs South Ranch, and is west of the western end of Vetter Lane. The Godfrey ranch is essentially undeveloped grasslands with scattered oaks and would appear to be prime habitat for Pismo clarkia. To develop this property, which is remote from the core of Pismo Beach, would be the epitome of urban sprawl. One would imagine that this property would also require an additional water source.

Weed Control

As state and federal agencies get poorer, it looks like conservation actions such as noxious weed removal are being ignored. I would be interested in seeing if there are any certified herbicide applicators within our chapter who could be called upon in the event that CNPS could take
over some weed control from certain agencies under an MOU of some sort. I would also ask any agency people who are reading this to contact me if they think CNPS and the agency could work together on certain weed removal projects. — David Chipping

March Chapter Meeting

March Chapter Meeting

The Carrizo Plains: A Wildflower Wonderland

Speakers are Dr. Dirk Walters and Dr. David Chipping, Emeritus Professors from Cal Poly

Thursday, March 3, 2011, 7 p.m.

The San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will present a slide show and lecture entitled “The Carrizo Plains: A Wildflower Wonderland” on March 3, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Atascadero Association of Retired People building, 7484 Pismo Avenue,#adjacent to the Lake Pavilion, Atascadero, off Morro Road (Hwy 41).

A large selection of natural history and botanical books will be offered for sale. The lecture and slide show are free and open to the public, but arrive early as seating is limited.

Call 441-3777 for more information.

Conservation March 2011

We are still trying to force some decent mitigation built into the First Solar project in the Carrizo. We are concerned that pressure for jobs and tax income might cause local government to allow the project to go forward without securing off-site mitigation. Our main concerns lie in the southwest corner of the project, and the positioning of Arrays 8 and 9 in a recognized wildflower field. If you have seen the spring flower displays on the north side of Belmont Trail, then you know what is at stake.

If you don’t know about these displays, come to our next meeting in Atascadero.

President’s Message

Those of you who missed Bob Stafford’s wonderful talk on the wildlife of the Carrizo Plain and Chimineas Ranch areas can have another chance to learn about the area at our March 3 meeting in Atascadero. Following the snafu last year when we posted insufficient information on time and place, we want to make sure you find your way to the AARP building at the rear of the Lake Pavilion in Atascadero Lake Park.

Dirk Walters and myself have developed a slide show on the wildflowers and landscapes of the area, and will start at 7:30 after the social gathering at 7:00.

After a month with no rain, I am getting worried that all the field trips planned by us and other organizations for celebration of California Native Plant Week may be too late for short-lived annuals. Right now, Montana de Oro State Park has nice displays of shooting stars and chocolate lilies along the East Boundary Trail, and trillium in Coon Creek. Snag them while you can.

I encourage you to use our Facebook page to post wildflower sightings and fast breaking news at http://www.facebook.com/CNPSSLO.

–David Chipping